Before you read this, let me say this: I am not a bandwagon fan. I never have been. This is not me jumping off of a bandwagon. I was born on the wagon and I’ll die there. If the Bengals would happen to lose every game from here to the end of the season, finishing with a record of 2-14, I would buy season tickets next year… and a new jersey. Let me be clear, I love this team.
And just like my parents told me when I was young, “I love you but I don’t like you all the time”…. that sounds incredibly mean. That’s how I feel. I love the Bengals but sometimes I don’t like them very much. When the defense steps up and does what they were supposed to do, the offense decides to take a lunch break and when the offense crawls out of their holes, the defense is on vacation. I think it would be naive now to think that the Bengals will make it to the playoffs. It’s not impossible but it’s about as close to impossible as you can get. I also think it’s time we face a hard fact: the Bengals just aren’t very good this year.
At this point, I would consider a record of 7-9 at the end of the season a great success and a curse at the same time. The success would come from the fact that they would have won five of their last ten games against teams like the Steelers (twice), Saints, Colts, Jets, Chargers and the Ravens. Even though I had much higher hopes for the Bengals, who seemed to be almost perfect on paper at the beginning of the season, I think I would be satisfied with a 7-9 final record. That was a depressing sentence to write. Here’s the other side of the coin. It is fairly obvious that the Bengals are in desperate need of some players at very important positions. Andre Smith started his first game at right tackle and he did not fail to disappoint. He was terrible, giving up two sacks and a couple pre-snap penalties. He looks nothing like a first-round draft pick and I feel that it’s safe to say the Bengals should look elsewhere. Terrell Owens has had some success as a Bengal so far this season but I think we all know that this was just a one year deal. When he’s gone, the Bengals are going to have to find another deep threat. Safety could be another position that needs some attention.
Teams usually find the solutions to these problems, or attempt to find them, in the NFL draft. Finishing with a 7-9 record would place the Bengals somewhere in the middle of the pack where they may not find a top notch tackle or a deep threat wide receiver worthy of a starting role. Maybe I’m getting too far ahead of myself here.
I still love this team and I will root for them to win every game from here to the end of the season and on through the playoffs. However, the one realistic brain nerve that I have won’t allow me to hold on to much hope. If one good thing comes from this mess of a season, maybe Mike Brown will finally do something about Bob Bratkowski.
At least now some people will jump off the Carson Palmer Sucks Bandwaggon.